As many of us are preparing for the biggest holiday of the year, it is important that we remember some imperative safety practices when decorating our homes. If living in a community with a homeowners association, you will probably receive a newsletter or reminder that highlights some important safety precautions for the holiday season. If you do, don’t disregard this as just another community rules and regulations reminder that doesn’t need to be given attention to. Association rules and regulations are created to create a safe community for everyone and to avoid potentially life threatening home hazards. Thinking about this, C.A.B. Group wanted to take the opportunity to share some important home safety precautions that we all need to keep in mind during this festive time of the year.
An overwhelming number of house fires occur during this time of year because of holiday lights and decorations. No place is more susceptible to holiday lights causing a fire than near our Christmas trees. As Christmas approaches, the once fresh, and full of moisture tree decorated in our homes becomes drier and drier and, with that, more vulnerable to fire. Leaving lights on your unsupervised tree can be a recipe for disaster. Each year, an overwhelming number of household fires are caused this very way. The best way to avoid such a tragedy is to keep your Christmas tree well hydrated and to make a habit of turning your tree lights off when you are not at home and when you go to sleep. Also, always be sure to follow all manufacturer directions and safety precautions when using holiday tree lights.
Another cause of holiday home fires is open flames. Many people use candles when decorating for the holidays as well as start fires in their fireplace to cozy up to during these winter months. When decorating with real candles, it’s important to place them in a safe location away from anything that could potentially catch fire. Candles should never be placed within reach of a Christmas tree or anything flammable. Also, be sure to place lit candles up high and out of reach from children and pets. As any cat owner knows, cats are notorious for climbing and walking along the skinniest of ledges and mantles. Be sure your any lit candles are located in places our four legged family members cannot reach and accidently knock down. And when making a fire to enjoy in your home, be sure to use a fire screen and keep debris from falling out onto your floor. As with Christmas tree lights, open flames of any kind must be extinguished when leaving the house unattended and before going to sleep at night.
Holiday lights, both interior and exterior, can also be a source of house fires when not on the Christmas tree. Lights wear out. Age, the outdoor elements, handling and packing all contribute to the wires in holiday lights becoming weak and shorting out over time. The price of holiday lights has become extremely inexpensive so it’s best to replace them after a few years. If lights flicker, look worn, or are corroded, don’t take the chance with them and purchase new ones.
Due to the rise in home fires during this time of year, it’s also recommended that you perform a fire safety check to ensure that you’re protected in the event of a blaze. Check gas lines, external lights, and smoke detectors. Make sure you have a CO detector, and if you don’t, you may want to purchase an inexpensive one that plugs into any residential electrical outlet. Make sure your fire extinguishers are up to date and have not expired. It’s also important to make sure that your fire extinguishers are in good working order and full. If you’re unsure, take them to get refilled or purchase a new one. You don’t want to realize that you’re fire extinguisher doesn’t work in a fire emergency.
We all want the Holidays to be a time filled with happiness and celebration. Sometimes we avoid doing things because we don’t want to think about the horrors that could happen, and neither do we. However, if we take a few minutes and follow a few simple safety precautions, we can ensure that our holiday season will be one devoid of preventable tragedy. We hope that you’ve found these tips helpful and C.A.B. Group wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday season!